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Behind Barkat's back: this is how the importers won the fight over the cost of living - voila! Of money


The Ministry of Economy formulated a reform designed to limit the power of the large importers, but they exerted tremendous pressure - and the reform was removed from the Arrangements Law

A shelf of toiletries in a supermarket.

The reform could have reduced a significant part of the imports (Photo: ShutterStock)

The ricochets from the hasty budget approval continue to fly.

It turns out that not only did the ministers not know exactly what they were voting on, because no orderly budget book was placed in front of them, some of them were even surprised, during the discussion, to discover that reforms that are close to their hearts were removed from the Arrangements Law without anyone bothering to inform them in advance.

One of them is

Economy Minister Nir Barkat


Only during the government meeting to approve the state budget, Barkat discovered that the import reform he promoted together with the Competition Authority, which is in his office, and was supposed to limit the ability of importers to import from both large and medium-sized manufacturers, was removed from the Arrangements Act without his knowledge.

Economy Minister Nir Barkat whispers in Netanyahu's ear.

Will he succeed in convincing the Prime Minister to also back the bill he will submit? (Photo: Flash 90, Yonatan Zindel)

The goal of the reform was to limit the power of importers such as Diplomat and Shastovich, to make them give up parts of their activities, and to choose whether to work with a huge manufacturer like "Colgate" for example, and give up the other brands they import or vice versa - this in order to bring about a discount Significant prices.

At the beginning of the work on the Settlements Law, Barkat also sought to include large manufacturing companies such as Assem, Strauss and Tnuva in the reform, but was held back by the legal advice of the Treasury and had to be content with dealing only with importers.

The Minister of Economy was sure that the government would approve the reform, and only in the discussion was he told that it does not meet the economic and legal test necessary for its inclusion in the Settlements Law, there is no way to prove that it will bring down prices and there is no other alternative that will bring about the desired result.

It should be noted that none of these arguments were brought before him before, which is puzzling.

It turns out that behind the scenes, the importers exerted massive pressure on the Ministry of Finance, in order to thwart the approval of the reform and even sent messages that they would appeal to the court against it, on the grounds of an infringement on the freedom of occupation.

Since these are companies with deep pockets, it was made clear that they have no problem dragging out the procedure for many years.

It seems that the Treasury did not want to mess with this hot potato, preferring to leave it to cool outside of this year's budget.

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The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister are on their way to the cabinet meeting that approved the state budget.

Not in the picture: Minister of the Economy (photo: official website, Walla system!)

Barkat is not going to give up.

With the backing of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who promised in the election campaign to address the cost of living, the Minister of the Economy directed his ministry's senior officials to formulate a government bill as soon as possible, which would deal with the issue of competition in the food market. The intention is to advance the procedure along the path of primary legislation in the Knesset, instead of the Arrangements Law. Ministry

officials The economists told "Walla" that this is a critical period, especially in the run-up to Passover and the increases in inflation and interest rates. "The government has committed to take care of the cost of living and we intend to uphold it."

If Barkat decides to go all out for the passage of the law in the Knesset, he will face a tough fight against the most powerful and wealthy entities in the economy , who have already effectively used the pressure press that caused the reform to be removed from the Settlements Law and there is no doubt that in the future they will also use any means of pressure to bend those who threaten their high profits.

It was enough to see the jump in Diplomat's stock yesterday when it became known that the reform was removed from the Arrangements Law, to understand the extent of the financial loss that could have caused it and the other importers.

  • Of money

  • news


  • Nir Barkat

  • Arrangements Law

  • Minister of Economy

  • Shastovich

  • diplomat

Source: walla

All business articles on 2023-02-27

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